March 26 2022
Defending WorldSBK Champion Toprak Razgatlıoğlu set the fastest lap time across two days of pre-testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, as he and Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK teammate Andrea Locatelli continued preparations for start of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship in Spain.
Razgatlıoğlu took to the track for the first time with #1 on his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK yesterday, completing 82 of his total 133 laps – but it was today that the team found a step forward. This enabled him to post the 1’40.571 lap-time which saw him take the number one spot, ahead of 19 riders from the full 24-strong WorldSBK field in attendance. The Turkish ace ended the test more than two-tenths clear of nearest rival Alvaro Bautista (Ducati).
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK and Yamaha Motor Europe’s Research & Development engineers worked hard across the two days of testing to finalise electronic and mechanical upgrades for the 2022 season, making progress in both dry and wet conditions as rain fell from midday today.
Despite two crashes hampering Locatelli’s pre-season preparations and ending his day early yesterday, the #55 crew were able to re-join the action this morning and shift their focus to help deliver positive pace in wet conditions. The Italian completed a total of 117 laps of the 4.657 km venue.
The official WorldSBK test at MotorLand Aragon will provide two further days of testing before the opening round of the 2022 season, which takes place at the same venue from 8-10 April.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P1 (1’40.571) – 133 laps
“Yesterday for me was not an easy day because we tried to find the set up, but the feeling was not so good. But, this morning the start was very positive because we find a good set-up and see the problem – and also very good lap time for me! After, we try also the new tyre from Pirelli but then the rain started. We could try the new electronic in wet condition, which was also working very good. We are also improving set-up again with electronics and I’m very happy today. It’s a good feeling and looks ready to race. We have one more test in Aragon, where we will try some new set-up and new parts.”
Andrea Locatelli: P12 (1’41.865) – 117 laps
“Yesterday morning we were fast and the feeling was great! I had a small crash in the morning, but it was ok. In the afternoon I struggled a little bit with the feeling and we had some problems which meant we lost a lot of time on track. It was quite a strange day for us but today we tried to restart fresh. Unfortunately we had another small problem and lost more time in the morning. In the middle of the day it started to rain and it meant we could do some laps in the wet. The feeling was good and in general after the two days I am really happy because in the rain we rode really well, so this is another good point. We tried the updated electronics, we tried everything and the feeling is good. Now in Aragon, we will reset everything and start again – not from zero because we have a base set-up and a lot of good parts – but we have two days to focus on the bike in the official test and prepare. In the end we were a little unlucky here in Barcelona but it’s the life! We’ve already tested in Aragon so we have more of an idea, we will finish the work there and start ready for the first race of the season.”
Phil Marron – #1 Crew Chief, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“Yesterday we understood a few limitations with the bike, and fortunately, we were able to figure out the direction that we needed to go for today. We had a very unhappy rider last night and on the first few exits today, he was reasonably happy though not quite convinced with the package – but towards the afternoon, Toprak was quite content with the progress made with the electronics package and the hardware package on the R1 WorldSBK. We were fortunate to get a chance to try the upgraded electronics in the wet and that was very beneficial not only for Toprak to understand it, but for us as well. He got a chance to get his head around it and we get a chance to really get our teeth into it from an analysis point of view. We still have work to do in Aragon, and what we’ve done here has helped us but the fact that we’ve already been to Aragon is bound to help as well, so we’re looking forward to getting there.”
Andrew Pitt – #55 Crew Chief, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“On Locatelli’s side, the first half of the day went really well yesterday as we worked through our programme and got some very good, clear information. We improved the bike and he was really happy with it, running right at the front. We put a soft tyre in and tried to push for a lap time, and unfortunately Loka just lost the front into Turn 1 and did quite a lot of damage on his main bike. We lost a bit of momentum at that point, working to transfer the latest updates for his second bike – which then had some problems in the afternoon and the day ended with a crash at Turn 4. It was a late night to get everything ready for today and a little bit frustrating as we only got one good run in before the rain came. But on the positive side, we did focus on some runs this afternoon in the wet. Loka didn’t have a good feeling in Race 1 here last year and has never been super happy on the bike in the wet, but today he went out and within two laps had a really good feeling and went really quick. Electronically, the feeling is very good, the base is very good and we’ve got a set-up that works. Riding this afternoon in the wet helped him a lot and now we’ll get the bikes ready for Aragon. We know we have a good base there from the test, so we just need to come out and hit the ground running to work on speed and fine tuning.”